Padan Kuih Lapis (Spekkoek)

by Shirley@Køkken on April 24, 2012 · 28 comments

in cake, Sweets, Uncategorized

Pandan Lapis

Most people baulked at the thought of making lapis. (thousand layer cake) A reader sent me a message, concerned about the time required to make a lapis cake – a friend of hers had told her that she would have to spend the whole day to make the cake.
Pandan Lapis9

Pandan Lapis 10

Hence, I would like to take this opportunity to dispel the myth behind this intimidating looking cake. The common reaction I get when I present the cake to them is one of widened wonder, as they tried to envision me slouching over the grill the whole day, pouring layers upon layers of grilling batter. Actually, the process of making Lapis, I find, is much less tedious than for example making the pineapple tart.

Pandan Lapis5

I normally bake my Lapis in the evening… coincidentally always on a Saturday while NCIS is showing on TV…  That would be around 8pm… I would start the preparation during the commercial breaks and would usually finish baking and washing up by 10pm. And once the baking process starts, I will have 3 mins interval in between each layer where I can surf the internet on my computer. So it really is not too bad.
Only important piece of advice is – read your instructions carefully before you start. Know the steps to the process well and measure the ingredients carefully. This is an expensive cake and if messed up, you could be throwing out $$$ spent on 2 blocks of good butter, 17 eggs and utilities…  (keeping the grill running for over an hour consumes electricity!)

I had it a little easier because I had seen the demo process at Valerie’s class and conveniently for me, I got an extra free kitchen aid mixing bowl when I bought my machine years ago. As a result, I did not have issues when the 17 eggs tripled/ quadrupled in volume when beaten. If you only have one mixing bowl, make sure you transfer the creamed butter into a separate container, wash it out and beat your eggs in the tall mixing bowl. Be warned, the eggs will volume up to the brim of the bowl.  This volume will then subside when the creamed butter is added.

To me that is possibly the most disconcerting part of the process. The grilling and pressing part is really a piece of cake….

I chose to bake this again because I owe my colleagues in Taiwan a sweet  treat and I am happy to take the opportunity to experiment with a new flavour. I chose to experiment with Pandan flavour but unfortunately, I did not manage to get my hands on Pandan paste and had to rely only on Pandan extract… the flavour turned out rather weak and it felt like eating just plain lapis cake. Nevertheless, it is always satisfying to see the clear layers when the edges are trimmed away….

4.8 from 4 reviews

Padan Kuih Lapis (Spekkoek)
Recipe type: Sweets, Cake

  • 375g Butter
  • 1 Vanilla pod
  • 180g Full cream condensed milk
  • 5 Whole eggs
  • 12 Egg yolks
  • 200g Fine sugar
  • 3g Baking powder
  • 130g Cake flour
  • 20g Coconut cream powder
  • 2tsp Pandan paste/ Emulsco
  • Green colouring

  1. Preheat oven to 230 C using the normal top and bottom heat to heat up the entire oven. If your oven has grill function with temperature control, use that.
  2. Line the bottom of a 8″ square pan.
  3. Cream butter, vanilla seed (scraped from vanilla pod) and condensed milk together until light and fluffy. Set this aside.
  4. Beat eggs, egg yolks, sugar and baking powder together until ribbon stage. Add the butter from (3) into the egg mixture and continue to beat at high speed.
  5. Sift flour and fold into the batter.
  6. Divide batter into 2 portions. Add mocha emulco and cocoa powder into one portion. Mix well to combine.
  7. Heat the empty cake pan in the oven for 2 mins.
  8. Remove pan from oven and spread a portion of batter in the pan. (Measure your batter for every layer to ensure that your layers will be even) Level batter with a spatula and grill for 3 mins or until dark brown.
  9. Remove from oven, press cake layer to remove excess air. Spread another portion of batter, level it and grill for 3 mins or until dark brown.
  10. Repeat 9 and 10 (alternating 3 layers of plain batter with 3 layers of mocha layer) until the batter is finished.


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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mel April 24, 2012

A lot of effort in time and patience to bake this cake; and this is why Kek Lapis is so delicious and yummy. But with the left over of egg whites, I would have to think how to use it later on.


2 Faeez April 24, 2012

I have to agree with you, baking lapis cake is less tedious than making the pineapple tarts. For me, baking lapis cake became a joy after learning the dos & don’ts of baking it during a class. I would like to try this one day. :)


3 Sherleen April 24, 2012

a lot of hard work to bake a kuih lapis, but everything is worth when the kuih lapis come out perfectly nice and look so yummy…:)


4 Gertrude April 25, 2012

I admire you patience to make cake like this. I takes a lot of effort to grill each layers. I too need to buy another mixing bowl.


5 noobcook April 25, 2012

the pandan extract gave it a nice colour. You sound very experienced in the art of making kueh lapis =)


6 Cookie April 25, 2012

Very pretty layers!

I am almost tempted to try out the kueh lapis… but knowing myself too well that i lack the patience to go thru the layering!


7 Shirley@Køkken April 27, 2012

Cookie, once you get started, you will find that it is really not so tedious.


8 quizzine April 25, 2012

I’ve seen couple of kek lapis recipes recently, and yes, you have dispelled some reservations I had on baking this cake! I love the neat and prominent layers you have!


9 Rebecka April 27, 2012

Shirley, this is a fabulous cake! When I get moved to my new house I’m going to try making this. I’m not much of a baker but this recipes has me intrigued by it’s beauty.

I need clarification with step 6, do you add the coconut powder to the other half of the batter and then the green food coloring to the coconut batter? Where do I find the coconut powder? Thanks!


10 Shirley@Køkken April 27, 2012

Hi Rebecka- I added the coconut powder to the whole batter before separating them into 2 portions. The coconut cream powder is available from all supermarkets. The type which you use to dissolve to make coconut cream.


11 Viveka April 27, 2012

Wouldn’t mind a piece now .. before I go to be … a stunning piece of cake.


12 ribbonclown April 27, 2012

I love the color combo and the layers are just so neat. I need to find time and try this. 😉


13 Shirley@Køkken April 27, 2012

Faizah, you really should try to make this. I am sure you can bake this with your eyes closed… :)


14 addie April 27, 2012

Hi Shirley..
i love yr blog, everything looks yummy. I was trying to find a lapis recipe that doesnt call for 20+ eggs. I will definitely try this out. D baking pan u used, is it
2″ or 3″ height? If I use a loaf pan – should i half all d ingredients?


15 Shirley@Køkken April 27, 2012

Thanks, Addie – My pan is 3″ in height. Try not to use a loaf pan. Use a square pan – reason being the loaf pan is narrow and will be difficult to press.


16 daphne April 27, 2012

it looks amazing! great tips- one day, i know one day, I will make it!! :)


17 Piero April 29, 2012

I never saw a cake like this before. I always look around in Rome for new cakes and receipe that i can make with my girlfriend but never saw somenthing like this.
I have to convince my girlfriend to cook it!.
Have a nice day and nice to meet you


18 Shirley@Køkken April 29, 2012

Thanks, Piero. Do try to get your girl friend to bake this. Let me know if she needs clarification.


19 torviewtoronto April 30, 2012

beautifully done looks delicious


20 Seet Christina May 1, 2012

I simply love the way you take your pictures.its got a very serene effect . I am a homemaker but seldom find the time to bake special cakes. I do make lapis but only during Chinese new year . You are quite right making pineapple tarts is simply more tedious.
Just one question what is coconut cream powder. can I substitute with real coconut cream and if so how much of the liquid cream to use .Thank you


21 Shirley@Køkken May 1, 2012

thanks Christina for your kind words. The coconut cream powder is the powder we find in baking section at NTUC… the type which you can mix with water to get coconut milk. (I used Kara brand) I would hesitate to introduce liquid to the batter at this point – may disturb the stability of the sponge batter.


22 Fern @ TFWL June 8, 2012

I love kuih lapis, but haven’t attempted making it, not so much because of the effort required, but because it uses a tonne of egg yolks… and I would have to think of what to do with the egg whites. I like the look of your kuih lapis…such lovely colours!


23 Sailaja June 18, 2012

Hi, thank you for fabulous and beautiful Padan Kuih Lapis (Spekkoek) recipe. It looks colorful, delicious and yummy!!! We make gluten free thousand-layer cakes of different varieties. Please visit our site


24 Gregoire Michaud June 22, 2012

Great looking cake! People always bring this back to me when they travel to Malaysia and the region. I really like them in small portion… I remember one day having too many “small portion” and I couldn’t eat dinner anymore!
Great good looking cake! :)


25 Shirley@Køkken June 22, 2012

Thanks chef! Indeed, this is best enjoyed in small slices. I am hoping to do a version which is spiked with Calvados… bet it will taste good!


26 joan August 3, 2012

hi i was wondering if i cant find coconut cream powder, can i substitute it with something else? also when do u add the green colouring and pandan paste?


27 Shirley@Køkken August 4, 2012

Hi Joan, if you can’t find coconut cream powder, you can substitute with milk powder. You add the pandan paste to one portion of the batter after you have separated it.


28 Linda Dumosch October 11, 2014

I’m doing this today I’m going to bounce back & forth between 2 recipes wish you used cups instead of grams let yo u know how it goes thank you


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